BLUF: Early focus (LF only) to long term profile but offensive upside to be an above-average player.
The Player: Anthony Santander (OF, Cleveland Indians) – One of the Indians big-ticket signings from the 2011 J2 class, Santander signed for $385,000 and debuted in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012. In 43 games, the 17-year old hit .305/.381/.494 with 15 doubles and four home runs while striking out just 37 times.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Industry Contacts
Body (6-2, 190): Quality frame at a young age. Good, solid strength. Has plenty of physical projection. Average athlete. Body could get very muscular and thick, slowing him down some.
Hit: Well-balanced swing. Very raw as a switch hitter. Natural right-handed hitter with a more consistent and fluid swing from that side. LHH abilities have come along quickly. Stays inside the ball well, has good bat speed and makes consistent, hard contact. Uses whole field well, particularly as LHH. Large leg kick can lead to some timing issues but it’s a natural part of his swing and is generally in sync. Potential plus hitter but will take time to reach that ceiling against more advanced pitchers. Grade – 30/60
Power: Good strength in body and it translates well to his swing. Has plus bat speed from both sides of the plate. Shows ability to turn on the ball and drive it as RHH. More of a gap-to-gap hitter as LHH. Projects for plenty of doubles power and could reach 20+ home runs annually at physical peak. Very nice power profile that could manifest because of solid contact abilities and decent approach. Conservative projection for average power but could see spike in tool grade as he matures. Grade (raw power) – 30/50
Arm: Decidedly below average. Lacks arm speed and doesn’t get a lot on his throws. Mechanics are inconsistent. Lack of arm strength prevents a right field profile. Grade – 40/40
Fielding: Holds is own but is limited to a corner long term. Below average right now with poor jumps and routes. Has a chance to improve with more repetitions and game experience. Likely average defender with left field profile. Grade – 40/50
Speed: Can run well once underway but takes a while to get there. Speed doesn’t really play in game situations. Average home to first times. Not a significant base running threat but could steal 8-10 bases annually. Likely to slow down a tick as frame suggests thickening and some likely loss of athleticism. Grade – 50/40
Summation: Very young and very raw. Intriguing offensive profile. Shows good natural hitting ability and advanced approach for his age. LH hitting ability has come along quickly and could be legitimate switch-hitting threat with ability to hit .280+ at the big league level. Power could play as well, making him a very nice offensive contributor. Power will take time to fully manifest and physical maturity could come two or three years in advance of power production. Left-field only profile with potential for average defense and likely below-average arm strength. Will have to hit a ton to have big-league value. Could be an above-average regular if offensive tools materialize to maximum extent. Boom or bust type.
Relative Risk: High. Extreme risk with left-field only profile and significant gap between present and future.
Future: Will move to short-season NYPL in 2013 and a strong early showing could send him to Low-A before the season is over. Unlikely to move better than a level at a time as he faces stiffer competition. Likely 4-5 years away from being on the big-league radar.